Beatrice Baumer

Senior lecturer for food science and nutrition
Institute for Food and Beverage Innovation
ZHAW, Wädenswil

Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences
Namibia University of Science and Technology

July 11 - July 27, 2018


Cooperation with university staff

The Bachelor of Human Nutrition is a new programme, introduced in 2018, a good coordination beforehand with the programme director was thus a pre-requisite for selecting the contents and the teaching formats for the course “Introduction to food, nutrition and health”. Once in Windhoek the staff was always helpful, in particular for administrative matters. I was also given a tour of markets and supermarkets in order to become familiar with typical food items in Namibian diets, a very interesting experience! I furthermore worked closely with the newly appointed lecturer, who then took over the course after my departure.


Cooperation with students

The students participated actively in class, contributing with comments on personal experiences and attitudes towards healthy eating. One topic in particular was always controversial: the high meat consumption in Namibia. Calculating portion sizes based on recommended protein intakes was an eye-opener for many students. It was a joy to work together with the students, who repeatedly expressed their gratitude towards the input of B360 experts, in particular because this programme is still in its initial stage.


Impact and win-win

I believe I made students reflect on habitual eating habits and options for a more varied diet, for themselves but also in the optic of future working positions, such as community work in the area of nutrition. Students are now more aware of the need of effective communication tools, which specifically address specifically Namibian dietary habits. 

I also learnt enormously from this experience, not only about typical Namibian food, but also about teaching in a less privileged context and therefore relying on more simple tools. My stay at NUST was a very rewarding experience!


Personal message

I hope that the students learnt to reflect on nutrition and dietary options, these are going to be challenging topics in Namibia, a country more and more concerned about the double burden of disease (health issues arising from undernutrition, malnutrition and over-nutrition).

With the input of B360 experts students have to opportunity to learn about other perspectives on this topic, which will hopefully help them develop the critical thinking and problem-solving skills needed in their future professional careers. In this respect I strongly believe that a collaboration between B360 and NUST faculty can have a positive impact. For this, continuity is a pre-requisite.